Camille Nessel

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Docteure en Sciences politiques et sociales

Camille Nessel is a doctoral fellow, funded by the Belgian National Research Fund F.R.S-FNRS.

She is affiliated to the Université Libre de Bruxelles Centre d'Etude de la Vie Politique (CEVIPOL) and the Institute for European Studies (IEE), and Ghent University’s Center for EU Studies (CEUS).

Taking a post-colonial perspective, her research focuses on sustainability in trade relations between the EU and the Global South, with focus on Asia. She has gained extensive knowledge about Indonesia while living in the country, as well as recently conducted a research stay in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Prior to her academic career, Camille was a founding member of the grassroots organization Baustelle Welt (Global Construction Site), which funded educational projects in the Global South and organized civil society events on matters of social injustice and inequality in Germany.

She has also worked for the European Commission's Information Centre and held roles as a junior researcher, including for the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung in Jakarta, Indonesia, and supported activism work at Amnesty International in Tel Aviv, Israel.  

She speaks English, French, German and some Indonesian.




On-going: PhD Political Science (ULB/IEE & UGent, Belgium): Doctoral Dissertation: "Normative vs. Neo-Colonial Power Europe? A Study of How Elites in Indonesia, and Vietnam Challenge the Inclusion of Environmental and Social Clauses in Free Trade Agreements with the EU"

MA European Studies (IEE/ULB, Belgium) MA thesis: Three Paradigms and Three Worlds of Rule ? Max Weber, Georg Lukács, and Hannah Arendt Concepts of Herrschaft in the Light of the Empirical-Analytical, Critical-Dialectical, and Normative-Ontological School of Thought. Université libre de Bruxelles, 2017. Print.

BA Sociology, Political Science, Public Administration (University of Potsdam, Germany) BA Thesis: Die Logik des selbstlosen Gebens im Spiegel des normativen und rationalen Paradigmas. Ein Vergleich zwischen Émile Durkheim und James Coleman. PublishUp, 2014 Potsdam. 

Extra Curriculum: Erasmus, Political Science (2011/12) (University of Copenhagen, Denmark).

Professional experience

European Commission Information Centre: Europe Direct (2018);   

Research Assistant (Studentische Hilfskraft, Lehrstuhl für Politik und Verwaltung): University of Potsdam (2014-2015); ULB (2017-18);

Writer for the student magazine: Eyes on Europe (2017-18);

Board and Founder of grassroots organization Baustelle Welt e.V. (Global Construction Site) (2010-2016): Germany, Berlin; 

Voluntary Social Service by German Government (weltwärts) (2009-2010): Indonesia, Semarang. 



Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (2017): Indonesia, Jakarta;

Amnesty International Israel (2013): Israel, Tel Aviv;

Development Cooperation Information Center (EPIZ) (2011): Germany, Berlin; 

Domaines d'intérêt

- European politics/ External relations of the European Union/ Development Cooperation
- Sustainability Clauses in Free Trade Agreements
- Constructivist, Interpretvist and Post-colonial Theories in International Relations
- Narratives, Myths and State Identity in International Politics
- South-East Asia/East Asia
- Political and Sociological theory

Présentation des enseignements

Teaching Experiences: 

ULB: Introduction to Political Science Methods (POLI-D543 - Final dissertation seminar - 202122

Ghent University: Guest Lectures on EU-Asia relations (Course: European External Policies)


Présentation des recherches

My research focuses on sustainability clauses in the EU's Free Trade Agreements (FTA) negotiations with Indonesia and Vietnam. I'm especially interested in the perception of these clauses by the EU's partner countries and in the origins of the skepticism to include these clauses in an effective manner in the FTAs, as well as the linkage between the European colonial past. I am also very interested in more abstract, metatheoretical questions, that inform our categories of knowledge.  

Travaux sélectionnés


Camille Nessel & Jan Orbie (2022): Sustainable development in EU–Asia trade relations. In A Geo-Economic Turn in Trade Policy? (pp. 197-221). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Camille Nessel & Elke Verhaeghe (2021). ‘A Force for Good’: The Narrative Construction of Ethical EU–Vietnam Trade Relations. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies.

Camille Nessel & Elke Verhaeghe (2020): Unfolding the European Commission’s storytelling on ethical trade relations with Vietnam. CEVIPOL Working Papers, (2), 2-32.

Camille Nessel (2020): Colonialism in its modern dress: post-colonial narratives in EUrope-Indonesia relations. Asia Europe Journal.

Camille Nessel (2014): Die Logik des selbstlosen Gebens im Spiegel des normativen und rationalen Paradigmas: ein Vergleich zwischen Émile Durkheim und James Coleman (Universität Potsdam).

Blog Posts

Camille Nessel & Elke Verhaeghe (2022): The EU narrative around trade with Vietnam. available here:

Camille Nessel (2021): On the Colonial Problem in the EU’s ‘Sustainable’ Trade Agreements. available here: